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April 11 to 13, 2012 Washington, DC

SUMMARY REPORT


2012 National Environmental Justice Conference & Training Program Concludes with Success In April 2012, hundreds of attendees from across the government, business, academia, and grassroots communities came together to share views, challenges, and discuss solutions for one very important topic—environmental justice (EJ). The 2012 National Environmental Justice Conference & Training Program was held in Washington, DC, from April 11 through 13. The conference proved to be an innovative 3-day exchange of approaches to EJ and related matters. The interactive sessions featured a diverse group of representatives from Federal and state agencies, local governments, tribes, community groups, business and industry, public interest groups, academia, and other entities. These groups shared relative experiences and research of successful and unsuccessful programs and featured the needs and challenges of communities, governments, municipalities, tribes, faith-based organizations, and others with an interest in environmental matters. The 2012 National Environmental Justice Conference & Training Program’s agenda included panel discussions, question and answer segments, online and other training, and networking opportunities. An array of topics was explored, including Title VI of the Civil Rights Act, health disparities, and community solutions. This year’s conference introduced training segments that focused on grant writing and technical assistance. It focused on the enhancement of communities and provided ways for improved productivity and efciency. Attendees were addressed by speakers ranging from The Honorable Thomas P. D’Agostino, Under Secretary for Nuclear Security and Administrator for the National Nuclear Security Administration and Donna Christensen, MD, Congresswoman (Democrat) U.S. Virgin Islands to community environmentalist Jacqueline Shirley of Alaska and community activist and EJ champion, Dr. Mildred McClain. The conference’s partnership with Howard University School of Law produced a plethora of networking opportunities among students, faculty, and community, business, and government leaders. EJ combines civil rights with environmental protection. It gives voices to communities that have been historically excluded from environmental decision making.

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CONFERENCE OVERVIEW

A RENEWED FOCUS ON ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE The National Environmental Justice Conference & Training Program (NEJC) returns to Washington, DC, April 11 through 13, 2012, with a new name and fresh approach As communities evolve, so does the meaning of environmental justice. In an effort to disseminate effective information and encourage change agents amongst communities and their leaders, the NEJC leaders called upon representatives from Federal and state agencies, local governments, tribes, community groups, businesses small and large, as well as public interest groups, academia, and other entities to participate in a 3-day discussion on advancing the environment through people, policy, and change, and share best practices to ensure it. The conference has adopted the theme Enhancing Communities Through Capacity Building and Technical Assistance. To commemorate the renewed focus on the environment, the Board of Directors of the Conference, now in its sixth year, reorganized, selected a new conference coordinator, and changed the conference name. This new name and fresh outlook ensures that future conferences and training problems will be more current and valuable than ever. An annual nationally focused environmental justice conference is more important than ever given the Obama Administration’s recommitment to environmental justice. This renewed commitment was made evident by the White House Forum on Environmental Justice, a cabinet-level meeting held in December 2010, which was followed by the Memorandum of Understanding on Environmental Justice, signed in August 2011. From April 11 through 13, 2012, in Washington, DC, the action-packed NEJC focused specically on youth outreach and enhancing communities through capacity building and technology assistance. Expert panelists guided attendees—ranging from students to seniors—through insightful discussions and interactive sessions and introduced participants to the many aspects, challenges, and opportunities of environmental justice. Those ready to openly engage in conversation on a variety of viewpoints and environmental justice strategies took advantage of the Conference, which included a training program that allows Federal employees and others to earn professional-level education credit. As it has in previous years, the Conference united the U.S. Department of Energy, U.S. Department of Agriculture, U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and the Howard University School of Law and various other Federal agencies to provide insight and expertise as well as be a sounding board to those in attendance. Stay in touch with the 2012 NEJC at www.thenejc.org, on Facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/nejc2012, and via twitter at: @nejc2012.

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Day One: April 11, 2012 Grand Opening Plenary Session and Reception The 2012 NEJC kicked off with its Grand Opening Plenary Session and Reception Wednesday evening, April 11, 2012, at the Howard University School of Law. Attendees were greeted with opening remarks from Howard University School of Law Dean Kurt Schmoke, Associate Dean O.C. Dark, and National Environmental Justice Conference, Inc. Board of Directors Chairman, Benjamin F. Wilson, Esquire.

Dean Dark

Dean Schmoke

Ben Wilson

The opening plenary session focused on best environmental justice practices for community capacity building and technical assistance and was moderated by Timothy Fields, Jr., Senior Vice President, MDB, Inc. and Lessie Price, Manager, Government Operations, URS, Inc.

Tim Fields

Lessie Price

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Day One: April 11, 2012 Participants heard from various panel members providing different perspectives (government, community, industry) on the best environmental justice practices for community capacity building. This opening session proved to be quite interactive. A reception followed.

Charles Lee

Glenn Parker

Quentin Pair

Sandra Howard

Vernice Miller-Travis

Audience Member 4

Harold Mitchell

Sue Briggum

Willie Taylor

Panel Discussion


Day Two: April 12, 2012 The second day of the conference started with opening remarks from The Honorable Melvin G. Williams, Jr., Vice Admiral, U.S. Navy (ret.), Associate Deputy Secretary, U.S. Department of Energy.

Admiral Williams’ remarks were followed by an address from the opening keynote speaker, The Honorable Thomas P. D’Agostino, Under Secretary for Nuclear Security and Administrator for National Nuclear Security Administration, U.S. Department of Energy, who urged all in attendance to, when it comes to environmental justice, “Do the right thing.”

Dr. Pamela Wilson, President of Allen University, then presented awards on behalf of our Historically Black Colleges and Universities, to the U.S. Department of Energy; The Honorable Steven Chu, PhD, Secretary, U.S. Department of Energy; The Honorable Thomas P. D’Agostino, Under Secretary for Nuclear Security and Administrator for National Nuclear Security Administration, U.S. Department of Energy; and William Brinkman, PhD, Director, Ofce of Science, U.S. Department of Energy. The Federal Title VI Enforcement Panel, moderated by Daria Neal, Esq., Deputy Chief, Federal Compliance Section, Civil Rights Division, U. S. Department of Justice, provided an interactive session to discuss Federal agency efforts in enforcing Title VI of the Civil Rights Act. This was followed by the Title VI Workshop that focused on informing grassroots communities on suggested basic elements in preparing and submitting viable Title VI administrative complaints and the legal tools needed to address environmental justice at the Federal level.

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Day Two: April 12, 2012 The 300 attendees on Day Two engaged in a networking luncheon with video greetings and remarks from the Honorable James E. Clyburn, Assistant Democratic Leader (Democrat, 6th District, South Carolina).

The afternoon continued with the Health Disparities Congressional Panel which focused on Place/Race Matters. This panel, which has been a mainstay of the national environmental justice conferences, was moderated by Dr. David Rivers of the Medical University of South Carolina and featured, among others, Donna Christensen, MD, Congresswoman (Democrat, U.S. Virgin Islands); and Dr. Brian Smedley, Vice President and Director, Health Policy Institute, Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies.

I Photo MG_1418

Ignacia Moreno, Esq., Assistant Attorney General, Environmental and Natural Resources Division, U.S. Department of Justice, provided the afternoon plenary address.

This was followed by the Environmental Justice Federal Interagency Working Group (IWG) Stakeholder panel, which was an interactive session that provided an update on the IWG progress since the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding. This session also focused on some of the Federal interagency partnerships established during the rst Obama Administration.

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Day Two: April 12, 2012 Day Two was capped off with the environmental justice middle school competition sponsored by the Patriots Technology Training Center and the U.S. Department of Energy.

Day Three: April 13, 2012 Day Three saw the presentation of the various abstracts that were accepted for the conference. Moderated by Dr. Lonnie Sharpe, Samuel P. Massie Chairs of Excellence, Tennessee State University, a number of topics were explored and discussed. Most interesting was Yvonne Latty’s presentation and video on uranium mining in the Navajo Nation.

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Day Three: April 13, 2012 Those in attendance were greeted with a riveting and inspiring keynote address from Dr. Mildred McClain, Executive Director, Citizens for Environmental Justice. Dr. McClain’s address was followed by the Community, Academia, Business and Government Capacity Building and Technical Assistance Collaboration panel moderated by Sue Briggum, Vice President, Federal Public Affairs, Waste Management.

Our Day Three Luncheon Speaker, The Honorable Gwendolyn Keyes Fleming, Regional Administrator, Southeast Region (Region 4), U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, brought us up to date on our progress in environmental justice but emphasized that in order to continue to move forward, “we must have the next generation in the room.”

The conference concluded with our Future Leaders Initiatives in Environmental Justice panel moderated by Melinda Downing, Environmental Justice Program Manager, U.S. Department of Energy, with presentations from college students, law students, and high school students, among others, who are interested in environmental justice issues.

In addition to the Title VI Workshop, the 2012 NEJC provided technical assistance workshops and training programs on grant writing and two environmental justice training courses.

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Conference Dates: April 3 through 5, 2013

2013 Conference Registration Fees: Students, Faculty, Community Members and Organizations, Government Employees . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . FREE Corporate and General Registration. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $125.00

To Register for Conference and Hotel: www.thenejc.org

Locations: April 3, 2013 Howard University School of Law 2900 Van Ness Street, N.W. Washington, DC 20008

April 4 and 5, 2013 Washington Marriott at Metro Center 775 12th Street, N.W. Washington, DC 20005

Room Rates: $249.00* Single/Double *If reserved before March 16, 2013

For More Information Contact: Lloyd Moore Conference Coordinator email@thenejc.org (202) 827-2224

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Melinda Downing Environmental Justice Program Manager U.S. Department of Energy Melinda.Downing@hq.doe.gov (202) 586-7703


inside back cover


SUMMARY REPORT

2012 National Environmental Justice Conference and Training Program Summary Report  

Summary Report of 2012 National Environmental Justice Conference and Training Program

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